Cassava partners with Tony Blair Institute to help Africa open borders

Valentine Muhamba Avatar
CommonTrust Network, Commons Project Foundation,Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI), Cassava Fintech International (Cassava Fintech), Q1 2021

In an effort to help Africa reopen borders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cassava Fintech International has partnered up with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI). The partnership between the two will see Cassava Fintech as the latest member of the Commons Trust Network.

“We are excited to join the CommonTrust Network and to play our part in ensuring a safe return to normal, productive lives for citizens and businesses across the world, following the disruption caused by the pandemic. The objectives of this network very much align with our business model in which we leverage digital technology to offer solutions that address people’s problems.”

Darlington Mandivenga, CEO of Cassava Fintech

As we are all aware, lockdown restrictions have been inching ever closer to being lifted completely and this has seen the passage of people from country to country increase. In Zimbabwe, it is almost commonplace again to hear of people travelling for work in other countries.

What this partnership between Cassava Fintech and the Tony Blair Institute aims to do is to facilitate the movement of passengers by way of an efficient process of validating the health statuses of travellers. Even with the low volumes at airports, for example, passengers still have to wait in long queues in order to be cleared.

This is mostly down to the laborious manner of verifying paper-based tests and vaccinations certificates. Innovations like Sasai’s Africa Travel Pass and QR codes are tools that Cassava and TBI think can help. However, the information on these platforms has to come from trusted sources or can be easily verified.

To help with this the Commons Project Foundation and the World Economic Forum unveiled the earlier mentioned Commons Trust Network. The organisation works in collaboration with a number of stakeholders to ensure that vaccination and COVID test certificates are verifiable.

The Commons Trust Network also works as a global registry of trusted labs, vaccination and health records. This repository is a shared service for the common good of all who may need the use of it.

On Cassava Fintech’s end, since it is a company that develops digital platforms and fintech solutions, it will be helping the Commons Trust Network and TBI with:

● Engage and support the relevant testing and vaccination providers and public health registries in Africa to join the CommonTrust Network as Data Sources.
● Engage and support the relevant governments, airlines and other destinations in Africa to join the CommonTrust Network and accept CommonPass for incoming travellers.
● Support policy making, public awareness and other efforts to support the
spread of the CommonTrust Network and CommonPass in Africa.

“We are delighted to join with Cassava Fintech and The Commons Project Foundation to support and further this important initiative. As vaccination rollout programmes gather momentum, the ability to share
vaccine records with the relevant authorities in a secure, accessible, interoperable and digital format will be essential to ensuring that Africa’s people and economies remain connected to the rest of the world.”

Tony Blair, Executive Chairman of TBI

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